by Jared Schwartz ‘18
Beginning this school year, MCPS has replaced Edline with myMCPS. The county made the switch in an attempt to streamline the software that teachers use, such as Google Classroom and Edline, into one website. MyMCPS is built upon a program called Canvas created by the company Instructure, which is used by several other school systems and many colleges and universities.
The sudden change has led to some confusion among teachers in the county, especially regarding what students and parents are able to see. “It was rolled out very quickly and there was not a lot of training,” said Media Specialist Stephanie Flaherty, who was previously Sherwood’s Edline administrator.
Teachers had the option to participate in voluntary training for myMCPS and its various functions over the summer, and MCPS has guides on myMCPS available for teachers, parents, and students on its website.
Flaherty emphasized that the program has a learning curve for teachers as well as students and parents. “Teachers realize that they don’t have to use it to its full functionality immediately… [MyMCPS is] something that [they can] choose to adopt or not choose to adopt; it’s really up to them. From the communication standpoint and the grading standpoint, it is definitely nicer and I think everyone agrees about that,” explained Flaherty.
The myMCPS program is split up into two parts, myMCPS Classroom and myMCPS Portal. Students and their parents can access myMCPS using the myMCPS Mobile app on both iOS and If students do not wish to retake the multiple choice section, the College Board gave a second option of simply cancelling one’s score and refunding the exam fee. Cancelling, however, means absolutely no chance for credit, so several weeks later a third option emerged which seemed the best choice for many. College Board sent out “projected scores” that could potentially be used for credit based on the portion of the exam that was still available for scoring. “Under these circumstances, and because of the statistical relationship between the standard exam score and the projected exam score, we support the use of projected scores for the purpose of granting credit and/or placement,” explained the College Board in a letter to all affected students. With this, students had to choose what they wished to come of their exam score and send the letter back by as soon as possible. “I decided to retake the exam mostly because the schools I am applying to won’t take projected scores and I got a projected 4, so I think I’d be able to get actual credit if I retook it,” said senior Melissa Oliver. Despite efforts to ameliorate the situation and accommodate the angered parents, students, and faculty, many are still wondering how such a huge mistake could have occurred in the first place and how to make sure something like it never happens again. Activism at Sherwood Students are getting more involved, from attending local government events to expressing opinions on the national anthem controversy. Pages 8-9 Android devices.
MyMCPS Portal has replaced the functionality of Edline, and both students and parents can use it to access various information, including students’ current and past grades, attendance records, and a summary of their graduation credits. Students will now use their student ID and password to sign into myMCPS Portal and myMCPS Classroom. MyMCPS Classroom is the interactive part of myMCPS. In addition to being able to upload multimedia content and post announcements to the class as they could on Edline, teachers can create quizzes and tests, host discussion groups, and upload assignments to their classes using myMCPS. English teacher Samantha Ager says that myMCPS allows her to have more flexibility with her classes and connecting with students than Edline did in previous years. “Edline was very restrictive. Everything was kind of set and things had to go in certain places … With [myMCPS] there’s a lot more freedom. You can design the way that your classroom looks online,” commented Ager. The reception to myMCPS has not been completely positive from students and parents utilizing the program. On Apple’s app store, the myMCPS Mobile app only has one and a half out of five stars with over 100 ratings. One user of the myMCPS Mobile app gave the program a disparaging review, writing, “this is nothing compared to Edline. It’s confusing for the teachers and students alike… We’re all lost and stuck with mcps [sic] cheap ripoff of Edline that barely works.” The reviewer gave the app one star.